And I don't mean old guys who know about battles. Although if you are old and know something, feel free to speak up.
I bought and started this figure (Verlinden 120mm No.1006 North African Crossbowman 16th C.) years ago and am currently in the painting process, the old creative juices having started flowing again. It's a nice figure with a few problems, but nothing insurmountable. My query though is does anyone have any more information about it? What army is he from, what nationality might he be? What campaign would he be taking part in?
On 7/31/2011 11:35 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:>
He looks like he could have been from the 1500s. The tribesmen wouldn't have spent funds on their equipment beyond that crossbow. Everything else looks homebuilt. I'm W.A. Guessing that he could be a Moroccan. Having not long ago read a book on Hittites, I do not recall crossbows being mentioned as frequently used in their armies. It just struck me that their was an empire built around Timbukto that lasted almost into that time period. Generally that could be labelled as North Africa. It wasn't north of the Sahara though
Thanks for the replies so far guys, keep 'em coming - all ideas will be contemplated. I've done a bit of digging, and the premiere military force in the area at that time was the Ottomans under Suleiman - the resin guy does have a really good Turkish nose, easily the equal of Suleiman's. :) They had crossbows, and the pommel of his sword has a very Turkish look to it.
I'm going to call him Ottoman for now, and finish him as a swarthy-skinned warrior - he's a Turk, as well as being on campaign in Northern Africa without any sunscreen... if anyone comes up with any other ideas, throw 'em in.
What the man just said=85 I=92m sorry if I=92m coming late to the feast but Google Groups has been down again=85
After a quick look through Ian Heath=92s =93Armies of the Middle Ages Vol.
1=94 I think the chap is probably a North African mercenary in the service of Granada in the later 15th Century, although some African reinforcements were sent to a revolt in the former Emirate in the mid
1500s. It=92s possible he=92s actually a Granadine, or even a Castilian or Aragonese Mudejar. Reasoning: Granada fell in 1492, so as =93someone=94 noted, he=92s unlikely to be 16th Century. The Adarga is of a later style, so later in the
15th Century? The Granadines were noted for their use of the =93Frankish Bow=94 (crossbow, with bolts poisoned with an extract of Wolfsbane) while the North Africans still preferred the Arab bow. It=92s worth noting the Granadines were already making use of handguns by the late 15th Century. The main mismatch is between the armour, which is of the right style but which was usually worn over the robes, and the lack of footwear. Body armour is rarely present even where other aspects of the representation suggest the individual is wealthy, and only peasants appear to go barefoot (this isn=92t Ireland=85). If he can afford armour, he could probably afford a horse, and a pair of fine Cordovan red- leather boots. Some additional information: Heath describes one figure with a long red over tunic, white under tunic and turban, and an embroidered blue sash. His baldric is black and scabbard red. Other turbans/hoods/ keffiyahs are shown as blue, red and brown; over tunics as brown and pink =96 some were brocade. Adarges are depicted as red (one with black tassels), yellow, black, white (this latter also with a red edge, another with gold studs and tassels), tan and brown (possibly varnished leather).
Thanks Bill, that's the original of the figure, no doubt. And the illustration answers a question or two that I had about some details, especially the dropped belt hanging from his waist belt - it is, of course, the hook for him to span his bow; the actual figure doesn't have any representation of the goat's foot, which I'll have to add from wire.
I see that both the illustrator and the sculptor have never carried anything on their shoulders - there's no way that a crossbow could be balanced on the trigger bar as is depicted - in fact, whoever built the model for the boxtop has realised this and left it off :) Mine's turned on its side, with the bow vertical - this makes much more sense to me.
WOW. Quite a missive - thank you for the effort in research and typing. It's given me a bit more to think about.
I'm pretty sure that I'll run with the Osprey illustration though, even if it proves to be wrong re armour and footwear. Although if he's a Marine as per the Osprey book, the lack of shoes 'might' make sense, I don't know. The figure was bought as a first figure (it still is my first figure, even though I've bought some more in the intervening years) and I don't want to get all crazy 'making it right' - painting it to look good will be enough of a challenge for now. If I ever finish it, I'll post some pics on ABMS.
Moromarth, william of B, wilshack, and the other regs share my love of history. i've learned more here in, well, since early '98, than taught me in
4 years at uma. a bit light on the coed's, but so was real life. i especially like getting more than the amerocentric viewpoint. and the really stupid "liberal" political "viewpoint". garsh cletus, there's people on them other islands.
"> Sorry Bil, Verlinden. At least that's what it says on the box. :)
New Hope Design had an agreement with Osprey at one point where as certain new books were issued they did a set of figures that were based on the uniform drawings. These were metal in 54mm. Verlinden in the same period seemed to issue larger scale resin figures that one could argue were based on the Osprey drawings but with some changes one might assume were to avoid copyright infringement - like boots being changed to barefoot. In at least one case, I did one where the sculptor had all the details from the drawing correct - but totally screwed up the details for the back of the shield - metal arm and hand holds that should have been rope. Makes one think the drawing showed one view and that was all the reference material the sculptor had. Required total rework
Nah, the era you are describing was in the Bronze Age. The crossbow was invented in China circa 300 BC. It didn't reach Europe until the spread of Islam across Asia after 632 AD. The richness of the figure's costume suggests someone from the Levant from 700 AD or so.
Saw on TV a few days ago. There was not much to choose between the crossbow and the musket (invented circa 16th century) in range, accuracy, killing power and the rate of fire. What gave the musket the advantage, and therefore quickly replaced the crossbow, was that any yokel could be taught to load and fire a musket and the ball caused a pretty nasty spatter wound that killed decisively. A crossbow bolt punched a clean hole and people can survive that.